Tesla Only Logged 550 Self-Driving Miles With Prototypes In 2016 (Update)

Self-Driving Model X


In terms of actual self-driving miles logged under its belt, it seems as though Tesla is quite a bit behind some of its competitors if a recent report is taken at face value.

According to its Disengagement of Autonomous Mode report filed with the California Department of Motor Vehicles, Tesla logged just 550 self-driving miles in 2016. Almost all of those miles were accumulated while filming the self-driving Model X clip seen below.

During those 550 miles, 168 disengagement events occurred (self-driving mode disengaged presumably by driver/passenger for one of hundreds of possible reasons).

The only self-driving miles logged by Tesla were all in the Model X. No Model S self-driving miles were logged in 2016.

Update: In a statement to Electrek perhaps explaining the low numbers, a “source” said that autonomous driving disclosure was mostly related to production of promotionL videos (again, such as below), and noted that Tesla’s Autopilot development team routinely tests vehicles off of California’s public roads, while generating most of its data accumulation through actual cars on the road.

Here’s a snippet of the report:


Self-Driving Tesla Miles By VIN

And here’s video of Model X doing some self-driving:

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34 Comments on "Tesla Only Logged 550 Self-Driving Miles With Prototypes In 2016 (Update)"

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“…168 disengagement events occurred (self-driving mode disengaged presumably by driver/passenger for one of hundreds of possible reasons).”

That’s the meaty part.

GM and other large car makers are in the same race (see their videos), yet Tesla somehow claim Tesla is years ahead.

In the end regulators around the world will decide when L4 and L5 cars can be used anyway – NOT car companies.

I see Tesla lead, because deep learning needs lots and lots of data. Since october last year, Tesla cranks out almost 10.000 cars per month which will collect massive amounts of data from the autonomouse hardware.

You have to read the update to understand the difference between how Tesla is learning about autonomy vs. the traditional automakers. Tesla uses data from their tens of thousands of cars over the air as they log millions of miles. The traditional automakers use data logged from onboard computers in their small handful of autonomous test cars.

Update: In a statement to Electrek perhaps explaining the low numbers, a “source” said that autonomous driving disclosure was mostly related to production of promotionL videos (again, such as below), and noted that Tesla’s Autopilot development team routinely tests vehicles off of California’s public roads, while generating most of its data accumulation through actual cars on the road.

L4 doesn’t need the government. It’ll just need statistics showing extremely low rates of intervention.

It’s L5 that needs the government to decide.

LMFAO, serial Tesla shorter tftf is getting desperate as Tesla stock climbs and the Model 3 gets closer and closer to production.

He has no regard for the truth or facts that this report only covers the making of promotional video or that virtually ALL Tesla cars with AP are shadowing their drivers and collecting enormous amounts of valuable data for the deep learning.

He and his other fellow shorters like Spiegel, zzzz, etc are simply delusional if they think they can influence the market in any way by posting their FUD here or anywhere else as their pathetic desperation grows.


What bothers me so much about posts from our resident serial Tesla bashers isn’t that they might affect the stock price — I mean, seriously, do they think their collective FUD efforts have ever affected it by as much as a single penny? — it’s the disruption of useful and meaningful conversation here that I find so objectionable.

These miles were only to record the video about the self-driving vehicle. All the main driving they do on private property, and is not recorded in these statistics.

So comparing the numbers does not make sense, since we don’t have the numbers for driving on private roads. This may vary widely from company to company.

Because it obviously seems that Tesla is not ready to unleash test vehicles in busy urban environments like San Francisco (pretty much the ultimate test for autonomous vehicles…outside of maybe Washington DC). What better place to do testing than in…..actual real life cities? I bet those “private roads” are tough to navigate!

Meanwhile, GM racked up thousands of miles in Bolts outfitted with autonomous driving equipment.

You do realize GM man, that Tesla is racking up enormous amounts of real world data for autonomous driving?!
If you’re going to sit here and suggest GM is ahead on this front, then you gotta show me something backing up your claims. Otherwise you’re just doing your usual trash talking!

All those millions of miles, and they couldn’t even release a video where their autonomous car stayed on the right side of the road the whole time.

Impressive indeed.

That’s a pretty pathetic attempt at a Big Lie. Can’t you find anything better than that?

The car wasn’t on the road when it pulled over to let its passenger out. It was in a parking lot.

If you must post FUD, bro1999, then make at least a feeble attempt to make sense, hmmm? Unless you’re actually trying to look this desperate!

It isn’t like he made it up. You ever drop someone off like that? I would assume not.

Are we even talking about the same thing?

I’m talking about where the passenger is let off in the parking lot next to a building, as shown starting at about 4:10 in the following video, and I don’t see anything I’d describe as unusual about it:

What are you talking about?

And by reading the Tesla forums, using AP 2.0 is a hair raising experience…on a good day.

On a local road, with no clear lane markings, never driven by a Tesla with AP before– yes.

But like most things Tesla, it will greatly improve with time / data.

How do you like the Autopilot in your car?

That’s nice.
When will people be able to buy a car with GM’s system in it?
How much will the system cost?
When will it be capable of autonomy?

> GM racked up thousands of miles in Bolts

But it has to become millions of miles without incident to become accepted by the authorities, and the public.

What GM has done is impressive, but I certainly would not discount Tesla’s efforts.

btw, I don’t think the current Bolts being sold, provides any data to GM, and that’s a huge mistake.

bro1999 posted more FUD:

“Because it obviously seems that Tesla is not ready…”

Speaking of people who have no interest in truth, or facts, or meaningful discussion…

I still love in that 1 video Tesla released of its autonomous test vehicle how it drove up on the wrong side of the road right before the passenger got out.

I’m smelling desperation here! I hope you don’t burst a blood vessel when Model 3 starts pulling in the accolades! It’s probably a feature to get you close to where you need to be, as opposed to YOU walking across traffic. It’s better the car than you!

Just like Trump, ignore the main topic being discussed and spin into something frivolous.

Frankly, I’m surprised Tesla decided to release the video of the car driving up the WRONG side of the road at the end of the video. Could have at least done a quick reshoot and had it drive up the correct side.

Model 3 will probably rack up the awards….maybe the 2019 or 2020 awards, not 2018 though.


You win, Bro, for being the first commenter to drag in an irrelevant political perspective, in this case less than one hour after the article posting.


Be happy he’s also not quoting irrelevant Bible Scripture to support his Political Opinions…

Just like any politician…

Wow! Thank you to advert us man of the future.
But if Model 3 eventually take the awards in 2018, don’t be shy and tell us that, after-all, you came from an alternate future!

I doubt this really means anything.

That said, I still feel true level 5 autonomous driving is years away: getting that six sigma level of safety and legislative/litigious/”who is responsible for the vehicle?” questions.

the writer needs to go back to English school. you NEVER start an article with “in terms of…” that is meant for an argument

The article started with the title, and so, it makes sense coming off of that.

It was already pretty clear Tesla is not nearly as far along as they say on self-driving. Their system is still far behind what they had with HW1 (MobilEye).

But they are putting a lot of effort into this. They are making progress. And they will end up with a very capable system at some point. But I just think it’s really hard to take their schedules seriously. And when you see a demo, just take it with a grain of salt. That doesn’t just go for Tesla. When you see GM’s Cruise videos you should probably assume that for each video you see that goes great there are 3 that they wouldn’t find so advantageous to release.

Well since Tesla is right now selling cars with autopilot as a very desirable feature then I am going to say that what they are already ahead of the laggard OEMs in both autonomy and the EV systems.


Anyone who says Tesla is “lagging behind” in development of autonomy, or indeed that Tesla isn’t ahead of everyone else, is either not aware of the facts, or else is trying hard to believe their own anti-Tesla FUD!

Until recently, I thought Google was ahead; after all, they have deployed cars which don’t even have steering wheels, which seems to put them ahead of Tesla. But then I found out that Google limits their self-driving cars to a top speed of 35 MPH!

Google doesn’t limit their self-driving cars to a top speed of 35mph.

I followed one on the highway at over the speed limit several YEARS ago. They have two types of cars. One with a steering wheel so the human can take over in an emergency. The other just has a stop button, no wheel. The latter are by law only allowed on streets with limits of 35mph or lower. The former go everywhere and at all normal speeds.

Both drive themselves using the same systems. It’s just one has no fall back and that’s why that one isn’t legally allowed on roads with limits above 35mph.

Here is a link to a story of a Google self-driving employee from November 2013.


This employee was having a car self-drive him on the highway at highway speeds for 43 miles each way every day for years. The story starts out with the person being self-driving at over 70mph on I-880.

Google had this in 2013. Tesla first rolled out their autopilot in October 2015. Yes it would seem they are far ahead of Tesla.

Thank you for explaining that, Unlucky. I learned something today! 🙂